British Cinema Morning

Friday, March 20, 2009

Here's Tanya's powerpoint from the British Cinema Morning...

RocknRolla (2008)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Director: Guy Ritchie

Lenny Cole, a London mob boss, puts the bite on all local real estate transactions. For substantial fees, he's helping Uri Omovich, a Russian developer. As a sign of good faith, Omovich loans Cole a valuable painting, promptly stolen off Cole's wall. While Cole's men, led by the dependable Archie, look for the canvas, three local petty criminals, the Wild Bunch, steal money from the Russian using inside information from his accountant, the lovely Stella. Meanwhile, a local drug-addled rocker, Johnny Quid, is reported drowned, and his connection to Cole is the key to unraveling the deceits and double crosses of life in the underworld.

Gypo (2005)

Director: Jan Dunn

It charts the breakdown of a working class family when the teenage daughter befriends a refugee girl. Helen has been married to Paul for 25 years. They live a monotonous and frozen existence. Helen is desperate, damaged, and looking for change. Paul - bitter, hypocritical and bigoted, sick and tired of being in the poverty trap - is on the brink of a breakdown. His biggest fear is change. Into their lives comes Tasha, a Romany Czech refugee, awaiting her British passport and her chance for freedom - a concept taken for granted by all those around her. Told in three revelatory narratives, each from a particular character's point of view, reveals how the disintegration of an ordinary working class family finally comes to a head when unexpected emotions are unleashed.

Ghosts (2006)

Director: Nick Broomfield

On February 5th 2004 twenty three Chinese people drowned in Morecambe Bay. Their families in China are still paying off their debts.

When a young girl, Ai Qin, pays $25,000 to be smuggled into the UK in order to support her family back in China, she becomes another one of 3 million migrant workers that have become the bedrock of our economy. Forced to live with eleven other Chinese people in a two bedroom house, they work in factories preparing food for British supermarkets. Risking their lives for pennies these unprotected workers end up cockling in Morcombe Bay at night.

With an extraordinary debut performance from Ai Qin Lin in a film whose principal characters are played by Chinese former illegal immigrants, Ghosts offers a unique insight into a secret world that surrounds us.

Dirty Pretty Things (2002)

Director: Stephen Frears

Okwe, a kind-hearted Nigerian doctor, and Senay, a Turkish chambermaid, work at the same West London hotel. The hotel is run by Senor Sneaky and is the sort of place where dirty business like drug dealing and prostitution takes place. However, when Okwe finds a human heart in one of the toilets, he uncovers something far more sinister than just a common crime.

Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)

Director: Mike Leigh

Happy-Go-Lucky follows a primary school teacher, Poppy, played by Sally Hawkins, who has an infectious, positive manner about her. She’s the shining core of the film, an upbeat, happy, yet absolutely three dimensional character.

Poppy’s nature is, inevitably, somewhat tested in Happy-Go-Lucky, not least by driving instructor Scott. Superbly played by Eddie Marsan, it’s fair to say that Scott doesn’t share Poppy’s positivity, yet once more, he’s a frighteningly real character, and at times extremely unsettling to watch.

There are layers to Happy-Go-Lucky, with plenty bubbling on under the surface, yet that there’s no escaping the fact that it is a cheerier movie than Leigh usually delivers. It’s fuelled particularly by Sally Hawkins, who is quite brilliant in the central role, and it’s potentially a career-making performance from her.

The Lives Of The Saints (2006)

Directors: Chris Cottam & Rankin

Mr Karva runs a shady little empire in North London. We don't know exactly how he makes his money but we know it's probably not very nice. Mr Karva's stepson, Othello, has ambitions to take the old man's place; and Othello's fainthearted friend, Emilio, has ambitions of his own. This delicate balance of power is upset when Roadrunner finds a strange, sickly-looking 10 year old boy in the park. All his life, Roadrunner has been on the move - but when he looks into the child's eyes, he finds he can finally stop running. It becomes clear that the child can grant each character their own taste of heaven - the 'perfect, rosy future of your dreams'. The child never talks but transforms the world around him, working on the desire in each character's heart, whatever it may be. Othello wins every bet he makes; Christella finds a new son to replace the baby she lost; Mr. Karva achieves his elusive orgasm and Father Daniel is finally able to express his own secret passions. But nothing ever comes for free..

Mischief Night (2006)

Director: Penny Woolcock

About two families (one white, one Asian) who come together unexpectedly on a local night of carnival trickery and festivity.

Control (2007)

Director: Anton Corbijn

Ian Curtis is a quiet and rather sad lad who works for an employment agency and sings in a band called Warsaw. He meets a girl named Debbie whom he promptly marries and his band, of which the name in the meantime has been changed to Joy Division, gets more and more successful. Even though Debbie and he become parents, their relationship is going downhill rapidly and Ian starts an affair with Belgium Annik whom he met after one of the gigs and he's almost never at home. Ian also suffers from epilepsy and has no-good medication for it. He doesn't know how to handle the feelings he has for Debbie and Annik and the pressure the popularity of Joy Division and the energy performing costs him.

Son Of Rambow (2007)

Director: Garth Jennings

SON OF RAMBOW is the name of the home movie made by two little boys with a big video camera and even bigger ambitions. Set on a long English summer in the early 80's, SON OF RAMBOW is a comedy about friendship, faith and the tough business of growing up. We see the story through the eyes of Will, the eldest son of a fatherless Plymouth Brethren family. The Brethren regard themselves as God's 'chosen ones' and their strict moral code means that Will has never been allowed to mix with the other 'worldlies,' listen to music or watch TV, until he finds himself caught up in the extraordinary world of Lee Carter, the school terror and maker of bizarre home movies. Carter exposes Will to a pirate copy of Rambo: First Blood and from that moment Will's mind is blown wide open and he's easily convinced to be the stuntman in Lee Carters' diabolical home movie. Will's imaginative little brain is not only given chance to flourish in the world of film making, but is also very handy when it comes to dreaming up elaborate schemes to keep his partnership with Lee Carter a secret from the Brethren community. Will and Carter's complete disregard for consequences and innocent ambition means that the process of making their film is a glorious rollercoaster that eventually leads to true friendship. They start to make a name for themselves at school as movie makers but when popularity descends on them in the form of the Pied Piper-esque French exchange student, Didier Revol, their unique friendship and their precious film are pushed, quite literally, to breaking point.
Written by Hammer & Tongs